The Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, will on July 9 rule on the legality of tolls on the Lekki-Ikoyi suspension bridge.

The case was filed by Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa against the Federal Government and the Lagos State Government to stop the tolling.

At the hearing today, the applicant, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, represented himself, while the federal government and the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) were represented by Mr. Peter Okoli of the Federal Ministry of Justice.  Lagos State was represented by the Attorney General of Lagos State, Mr Adeola Ipaye.

Adegboruwa, citing Section 4(5) of the 1999 constitution, argued that since the federal act covered navigable waterways in Nigeria, including the Lekki and Lagos Lagoons, the House of Assembly of Lagos State cannot purport to make laws on the same subject.  He therefore asked the court to declare the Lagos State law as null and void, and tolling on the bridge as illegal.

Responding on behalf of Lagos State, Mr. Ipaye contended that Section 315(1)(b) of the constitution empowers the House of Assembly of a state to modify a federal enactment.  He described the case as premature, as the government has yet to decide on tolling, and urged the court to dismiss the case based on the preliminary objection filed on behalf of Lagos State.

Replying on points of law, Adegboruwa submitted that a parliament can only modify a legislation it has lawfully enacted, and that since the NIWA Act was enacted by the National Assembly, the Lagos State House of Assembly could not claim to modify or repeal it.  He further stated further that under Section 46(1) of the 1999 constitution, no case can be said to be premature.

On his part, Mr. Peter Okoli said the federal government did not file any process in court because it supports the case of the applicant that Lagos State has no power over federal waterways.

The presiding judge, Hon Jus Seidu, adjourned the case till July 9 for ruling.

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